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Top Nine Foods You Should Not Refrigerate

Humans are creatures of habit, programmed to shove groceries into the refrigerator as soon as they return from the market. Contrary to popular belief, not every edible item needs to go into the big machine.

Don’t get me wrong; perishable products like milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, eggs, and meat must be refrigerated immediately. However, there are certain foods that, if kept in the cold, can have an entirely different taste. They will even lose nutritional value and spoil much quicker.

Here are the top nine foods you should never refrigerate:

1. Honey
Honey, the golden liquid you love so much, does not need to be refrigerated as it has high sugar levels. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal because the sugar binds with the water present in the honey. This binding process makes it impossible for bacteria to take hold, which is why it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Refrigerating will cause it to turn solid or crystallize and could even destroy most of its natural vitamins and amino acids. On the bright side, it won’t go bad, and you can still eat it.

The best way to store honey is in an airtight glass container in the pantry, away from sunlight and extreme temperatures. We recommend you keep it in its original container but never in a metal jar because it can become oxidized.

2. Bread
The worst thing you can do is keep bread in the fridge. The cold temperature will make it go stale much faster. That is because once the bread is baked, the retrogradation process begins, which leads to staleness. The low temperature will speed up this process. Furthermore, refrigeration will speed up dehydration and make the bread dry.

If you don’t want a chewy and tough slice, store at room temperature in a bread box and enjoy its freshness. If not consumed within 3 to 4 days, store it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge. This way, when you take it out for toasting or baking, your bread will still be fresh.

3. Coffee
If you are a daily coffee drinker, you should keep it in the pantry, not the refrigerator. The condensation in the fridge creates moisture, which is one of the biggest enemies of coffee. It will reduce the flavor of both beans and ground coffee.

Coffee is also known for absorbing odors, so if it is kept in the fridge, its flavor will be damaged. The only time it is okay to refrigerate it is when you have purchased it in bulk and are not planning to use it right away. Just make sure the bag is tightly sealed.

4. Garlic
People usually refrigerate garlic under the misconception that it will increase the product’s shelf life. In reality, it is quite the opposite; its lifespan reduces. It will deteriorate at a faster pace because the cool and dry air will suck out the moisture and change its taste as well as texture. It can even cause mold to develop.

However, once the head is cut off or broken, you can put the rest in a resealable plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge and consume the bulbs within ten days. Also, if you like to keep garlic paste, it’s better to refrigerate it. However, utilize it within 15 to 20 days.

5. Potatoes
Don’t we all love potatoes in every form? However, this versatile vegetable can go bad real quick if kept in a refrigerator. That is because the cold environment changes potato starch into sugar much more quickly. That will affect its taste and flavor and reduce its lifespan.

Hence, don’t refrigerate potatoes. Instead, keep them in a paper bag in a cool and dark place away from onions.

6. Onions
If stored correctly, onions can stay good for a month, but a refrigerator is not that place. They need ventilation to live. Furthermore, when onions are chilled, the starch in them convert into sugar, just like potatoes. The chilly atmosphere will cause them to go soft, soggy, and moldy. They will even give off a pungent smell, and nearby food items will smell like onions.

As mentioned before, forget any idea of keeping potatoes and onions with each other. The reason for this is that potatoes discharge gases that can spoil the onions.

7. Tomatoes
If you grew up watching your grandma and mom stashing tomatoes in the refrigerator, they were doing it wrong. When this red ball of deliciousness is chilled, it becomes mushy and bland. That is why most fruit vendors recommend leaving them out on the counter. The juiciest and tastiest tomatoes are never cold.

Store them at room temperature away from direct sunlight and only keep them in the fridge after cutting to prevent decay. You could also place them in the freezer for 15 minutes before taking them out to peel the skin effortlessly and use right away.

8. Avocados
Unripe avocados should be kept away from the fridge. The cold air will stop the ripening process, making this delicious fruit hard and turning its flesh brown. The fruit will also lose its flavor. Leave avocados to ripen on the kitchen counter until they are ready to become guacamole. That is the best way to maintain its buttery texture and rich taste.

You can put them in the fridge once they are ripe. Just drizzle some lemon juice on top and place them in an airtight container. That will extend their life for a few days.

9. Condiments
Condiments such as jam, mustard paste, and ketchup do not require refrigeration. The large quantity of sugar and salt they are made with is enough to keep them preserved for a long time. The same goes for sauces like hoisin, tabasco, Worcestershire, sriracha, soy, fish and barbecue sauces. The high content of sugar and vinegar allows them to remain good for years. They are also fermented, so there is no chance for bacterial growth.

Similarly, salad dressings, including balsamic or Italian, contain zero dairy ingredients and herbs. Thus, they will be fine sitting in the pantry. Spreads like hazelnut, peanut butter, and chocolate also belong in the pantry. In such an environment, they will be more spreadable and taste intense.

Closing Statement
Now you know which foods are unfriendly with the refrigerator. In case you feel the urge to stick honey, bread, garlic, tomatoes, coffee, spreads, ketchup, etc. in the cold storage, take a moment to go through this article again.

( Photo credit: bigstockphoto.com )

 

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